Harri & Toast Team Up to Deliver a New Tech Solution To Address Rising Labor Costs in the Hospitality Industry

New York, NY (September 20, 2017): Harri, the end-to-end workforce operating system designed for the unique needs of the restaurant and hotel industry, today announced its partnership with Toast, the all-in-one restaurant management solution and one of the fastest growing SaaS technology companies in the US to provide a powerful, truly integrated solution for multi-unit restaurant groups that combines day-to-day operations management, end-to-end workforce management and CRM tools for enhanced visibility into business insights that drive bottom-line growth.  

The Harri and Toast integration delivers critical data to restaurateurs to drive more informed decisions and increase efficiency by removing the data silos between staff and operational systems. Mutual customers, like Tacombi and Gregorys Coffee, both multi-unit operators, will be able to:

  • Dive deep into employee performance | Utilize key performance metrics to measure employee success and areas for improvement. Build a 360 degree view of employee lifecycle from hire to on-the-job performance.

  • Access a real-time dashboard with sales & labor data | Harri’s LiveWire dashboard provides an enterprise view of key sales and labor metrics for real-time monitoring. The dashboard also provides wage analysis, real-time labor cost tracking and time compliance alerts.

“As a restaurant owner for more than 18 years, I’ve long dreamt of the day I could combine two key, best-in-class systems, to manage all core aspects of my business. Our industry has been held back by fragmented systems, bad data and clunky technology for too long. Today, our partnership with the incredible team at Toast heralds a new era of capability that will help our mutual clients navigate the challenging times ahead,” Luke Fryer, founder and CEO of Harri.

Rising minimum wage rates are a huge financial challenge facing the industries served by Harri and Toast. Among 3.5-star restaurants, every $1 increase in the minimum wage increases the restaurant’s chances of closing by 14 percent.¹

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics April 2017 report, two-thirds of workers earning the minimum wage or less in 2016 were employed in service jobs, predominantly in the food industry. By 2018, minimum wage in many states will rise from as low as $7.25 an hour to reach between $11.00 and $15.00 an hour for hospitality workers. These wage increases will positively impact employees, but will also require restaurants to get creative and really focus on efficiency," said Aman Narang, president and co-founder of Toast. "We look forward to partnering with Harri to enable restaurants to be as streamlined as possible. They are a key member of Toast’s best-in-class partner ecosystem, the Toast API Partner Program, which empowers Toast users to improve overall operations and grow revenue.

Toast Restaurant POS offers advanced functionality to manage the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, including quick menu modifications, real-time enterprise reporting and labor management on an easy-to-use interface. The platform also features revenue-driving tools including physical and digital gift cards, loyalty programs and online ordering.

¹ Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit

ABOUT HARRI

Harri is a Workforce Operating System built specifically for the challenges of the hospitality industry. Helping restaurants and hotels source, hire, and manage their employees more effectively and efficiently is more critical than ever before. Harri’s all-in-one digital platform, employers can find and onboard top talent for their business using media-rich profiles and streamlined tools, all while reducing costs, saving time, and enabling long-term success of teams with best-in-class cloud-based management systems.

To date, more than 3,000,000 applications from chefs, bartenders, servers, hostesses, and managers have been submitted to 53,000 jobs posted on Harri.

Harri has more than 370,000 members and 8,000 employers spanning the US and UK markets. It is the number one marketplace for hospitality talent in NYC.

For more information, visit harri.com.

ABOUT TOAST

Founded by Steve Fredette, Aman Narang and Jonathan Grimm, Toast is a restaurant technology platform that enables customers to simplify and streamline all elements of their operation and deliver a better guest experience. Toast offers a mobile, cloud-based point of sale system (POS) that easily integrates with front-of-house, back-of-house, online ordering, gift card and loyalty programs, as well as labor and sales reporting. Since launching in 2013, the company has grown to over 500 employees. In 2017, Toast was named one of the world’s hottest cloud computing companies in the Forbes Cloud 100 and it announced raising over $100 million as part of its Series C financing. Learn more at www.toasttab.com.

Leveraging Tech for Success

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Have you taken steps to introduce technology into your business?

We’re not suggesting you install tablets for digital ordering at every place setting - but there are simpler, less intimidating ways to introduce tech to your business and boost sales.

Tech at the Table

We’re not suggesting you install tablets for digital ordering at every place setting - after all, taking this step may be too drastic (or expensive) for most. But consider making it optional for customers to employ the use of a tablet ordering system. According to a recent study of IT decision-makers representing the QSR, casual dining/full-service, and fine-dining industry segments, 41% of them said table-side ordering devices will be a priority in 2017.

As the trend shifts towards faster service and QSRs are on the rise, there is an indication that consumers (especially Millennials, who outspend other age groups on dining out) want options when it comes to tech. By installing tableside tech, you can let tech-savvy customers use it while other more traditional diners can place their order with servers the old-fashioned way. Tech at the table also allows customers to feel more in control of the bill paying process and may even encourage them to spend more freely (bonus!)

Tech in BOH

While tablets and tech are a “maybe” in your dining room, they should be prevalent in back of house. Tablet systems with digital workforce operating systems, like Harri, can be used for a wide array of things, including a smart time clock with facial recognition login, alerting them to announcements upon clocking in, and the opportunity to survey employees upon clocking out. This creates a more interactive, transparent work environment in which you’re able to easily communicate with and thus educate your staff - which in turn leads to better customer service and increased sales.

Discovery

Over the past 5-10 years, one of the biggest changes in the restaurant technology sphere has been the ability for customers to discover new restaurants through the growth of social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, and OpenTable. These apps connect consumers to the broader world and allow them to experience a wider variety of dining options at their fingertips. This has led to a shift from people favoriting their usual haunts to trying new things all the time.

As an owner/operator or manager, you have the ability to tell your powerful brand story through social media. By capitalizing on these free platforms, you’ll be able to share menu updates, seasonal specials, beautiful imagery, and more - using hashtags and geotags to allow new consumers to discover your dining options. Telling your brand story can garner you more customers, and telling your hiring story can garner you the best people.

Reporting

It’s 2017. Time to ditch the spreadsheets and rely on more sophisticated tech for reporting! Your staff, while a rich source of information, can’t be expected to do the same manual data collection that computers or digital solutions can do. Managers may not be able to identify who of your staff is most effective, or how the new special is performing. But with smarter technology, you have the ability to do so.

Attracting the Right People

You may think a new restaurant in town is to blame for a slump in sales - but it could just be the way the trends are turning. Millennials are more likely to be health-conscious, cook at home, and order takeout. As a business owner, you need to keep customer engagement front of mind and think creatively about how to always be inviting people to come through your door.

In Conclusion…

Maybe you’ve gotten used to doing everything manually over the years. We bet you have a pretty good “system” in place! But adopting new technology is the key to getting the new generation of the workforce in the door, and optimizing your business. Without it, you could be missing out on crucial data that will help you drive sales.

(*Interested in Harri’s award-winning digital workforce operating systems? Learn more here!)

Introducing: E-Verify

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Overview (What is E-Verify?) 

E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employee and/or employee assigned to a federal contract.

E-Verify allows any U.S. employer to electronically verify the employment eligibility of its newly-hired employees - thereby upholding the legal requirements of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), passed by Congress in 1996. 

E-Verify is a voluntary program for most employers. It is mandatory for some, such as employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause.

How Does E-Verify Work? 

E-Verify works by comparing the information entered on an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with SSA and DHS records to verify employment eligibility.

At this time, an employer can verify the employment eligibility of only one person at a time within E-Verify. All new, temporary, seasonal and rehired employees must be entered into E-Verify individually.

The use of E-Verify requires the collection of personally identifiable information. It is essential to protect the privacy of employees that submit information to be processed through E-Verify.

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all personal information collected is safeguarded and used only for the purposes outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding between E-Verify and the employer/user.

Introducing: Harri's E-Verify Solution

Harri’s user-friendly solution provides employers with the opportunity to take a training and become E-Verify certified. 

Harri’s E-Verify Training Curriculum and Knowledge Test includes three chapters of training (see below), after which a multiple choice Knowledge Test is required: 

  1. Employee Civil Rights, Liberties, and Privacy
  2. E-Verify Process
  3. Case Results 

 If a score of 70% or higher is not achieved on the Knowledge Test, employers must repeat the E-Verify training and retake the test to be able to sign and verify the Employment Eligibility Form (I-9). 

Harri's E-Verify feature is currently available to employers using Harri's Human Capital Management Suite, which includes the Source, Hire, and Manage modules. 

Harri's E-Verify Training Curriculum and Knowledge Test will be displayed as a tile on an employer’s home screen in the bottom right corner. From there, the Training and Knowledge Test will be accessible via the top nav.

The Knowledge Test can only be taken after the Training section has been completed. If the test is passed successfully, the employer will receive a notification. 

Additional Employer Requirements:

  • Employers are required to take a training and become certified before they review an I-9 and send to E-Verify.
  • Employers using E-Verify should indicate their participation in every job post description (i.e. “We use E-Verify to confirm U.S. Employment eligibility.”) 
  • All employers using E-Verify must display two posters in their workplace indicating their participation in E-verify in the languages (read more about this requirement here). 
  • Employers should NOT...
    • verify employees hired before November 7, 1986
    • create cases for employees hired before they enrolled in E-Verify
    • request specific documents not accepted by E-verify from employees
    • terminate employees due to receiving a tentative non-confirmation

To learn more about this exciting new rollout, get in touch with our team today!

WESTERN FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY EXPO

HARRI TO SHOWCASE THE FUTURE OF LABOR MANAGEMENT AT THE WESTERN FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY EXPO

Los Angeles, CA (August 16, 2017): Harri, the end-to-end workforce operating system designed for the unique needs of the hospitality industry, will showcase its revolutionary product offering at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo in Los Angeles August 27-29.

The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo showcases emerging trends in the industry and provides restaurant owners, operators, and managers with the tools necessary to master best business practices in order to increase profits, optimize their businesses, and engage customers in unique and memorable ways. The 8,000 attendees have access to a variety of resources, including insight into the top trends, business education, and exposure to 500 of the leading vendors and purveyors dedicated to serving the restaurant & foodservice community.

The future success of a hospitality organization will be driven by its ability to enhance visibility into data and actionable insights, thereby allowing them to increase productivity and revenues through smart workforce management.

Rising minimum wages and labor regulations are forcing operators to reevaluate how they manage their businesses. Harri solves this problem by enabling multi-unit restaurant and hospitality operators to compare sales and labor costs side-by-side and take immediate action on real-time insights

Traditional technology solutions used by the hospitality industry are outdated and disconnected, requiring the user to maintain many different operational systems in order to manage operations and gain valuable business insights.

Harri’s all-in-one platform consolidates up to 10 operational systems and is designed to reduce friction and increase transparency into how labor and sales are tied together.

This revolutionary platform includes innovative tools like team scheduling, biometric time-clock, and team communications; overlaid with overlaid with labor costs and live sales performance data, providing operators with greatly enhanced profit visibility. Streamlined collection and analysis of data takes employee performance to new levels of intelligence and industry relevance.

ABOUT HARRI

Harri is a platform built to help the hospitality industry source, hire, and manage their employees more effectively and efficiently.  With Harri’s all-in-one digital platform, employers can find and onboard top talent for their business using media-rich profiles and streamlined tools, all while reducing costs, saving time, and enabling long-term success of teams with best-in-class cloud-based management systems.

To date, more than 3,000,000 applications from chefs, bartenders, servers, hostesses, and managers have been submitted to 53,000 jobs posted on Harri.

Harri has more than 370,000 members and 8,000 employers spanning the USA and UK markets. It is the number one marketplace for hospitality talent in NYC.

For more information, visit harri.com.

 

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Where Did All the Chefs Go?

...and how can we bring them back?

If "too many cooks in the kitchen" is a recipe for disaster, what happens when there aren’t enough? For the past several years, restaurants have struggled to attract and retain talented cooks. To understand why this is happening, try looking at it from multiple perspectives. The trend can be attributed to several factors that, put together, have driven chefs out of cities and - for some - out of the business.

High volume of restaurant openings

Thanks to the post-recession economic boom, an entrepreneurial spirit has swept the restaurant industry. New places are popping up left and right in cities across the US, offering many more opportunities to people trained in the culinary arts (a number that is also dwindling). In fact, chefs are one of the top ten job markets predicted to expand between 2014 and 2024. With the unemployment rate hovering around 4%, cooks have their pick of jobs from eateries both old and new that are parched of talent.

The rent is too damn high!

The need for cooks is especially evident in big foodie cities like New York and San Francisco, where the cost of living simply outweighs the typical salary of a chef. The average monthly rent for an apartment in San Francisco is more than $3,000, which is just not sustainable in the long run. This leaves back of house workers to commute in from areas around cities, often spending hours on public transportation or in a car to get to work every day. Some cooks have found alternative career routes in smaller, developing food cities like Portland or Nashville, which offer an abundance of jobs and a more affordable lifestyle.

Other opportunities come knocking

Restaurants aren’t the only places looking to hire them. Food startups, corporations, and private catering companies offer them alternative opportunities to advance in their field without working their way up the traditional ladder of restaurant hierarchy. With more flexible hours and a less rigorous schedule, more and more small groups like these are cropping up and attracting talent. The rate of job hopping is also a culprit. It is higher than ever in an expanding economy with demand in new areas. Companies in other industries like Uber, Lyft, and GrubHub are attractive employers because of their flexibility and reasonable pay rates without working long hours.  

‘Go big or go home’ mentality

The road to becoming a successful chef is long and difficult, with not much reward for some. With shows on Food Network reaching huge levels of popularity, it’s easy to want to become a celebrity chef. Unfortunately, not everyone who sets out in the food industry reaches that level of success. In fact, very few do. Those who meet with hardship and difficulty are now more likely to look elsewhere for a job or career path, particularly millennials.

What can you do?

Here are 5 steps you can take to combat the sparse talent pool:

1. Become more attractive - For example, offer comprehensive and unique employee benefit programs that they won’t be able to get elsewhere. Guarantee higher pay by eliminating tipping and switching to a gratuity-included model, as Union Square Hospitality Group has. Additionally, try fostering a sense of community in the workplace and encourage the formation of relationships between staff members. It will make the kitchen a more efficient and enjoyable space that workers will remember as one of a kind - something they can’t find anywhere else.

2. Simplify menus and modify hours - Take a look at your menu for dishes you can simplify for at least part of the day, making it easier for line cooks or other staff members to put together. This will reduce the number of chefs needed in the kitchen and the amount of time they will need to spend there. Alternatively, venues have had to adjust their dining hours because of a short-staffed kitchen, serving meals for fewer hours a day or pushing back restaurant openings.

3. Consolidate roles - This strategy works well to cut down on the number of employees, allowing for higher wages and boosting relationships between members of a small staff. Petit Crenn, a French bistro in San Francisco, uses an efficient system where fewer employees contribute to a number of different tasks and receive higher compensation for their labor.

4. Look beyond traditional hiring models - Some restaurateurs are beginning to think outside of the box when it comes to hiring. At Cama, a Mexican eatery in the Bay Area, ex-cons and recovering addicts can be found in both front of house and back of house roles. The restaurant partners with the Delancey Street Foundation to help provide a training ground for the organization as they are rehabilitated with relevant skills and experience.

5. Use talent search tools and websites - Referrals, internal hiring, and newspaper job ads clearly aren’t doing the trick. To combat low response rates, it may make sense for you to try digital channels to expand your applicant pool. Harri’s end-to-end workforce operating system connects you with thousands of job seekers in the restaurant and hospitality industry and helps you find your ideal candidate. Finding the right fit for the role is essential to reduce turnover rates and engage your workers.

The restaurant industry is dominating the workforce, and now that the jobs are here it’s more important than ever to bring back the people who will fill them!